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Malkin not on trade block

A quick update for dear readers, especially the hundreds that have questioned my sanity (among other things) after reading this analysis:

I’m told the Penguins are not entertaining the possibility of trading C EVGENI MALKIN, the 2009 NHL scoring champion and playoff MVP and, with a $8.7 million salary-cap hit, the franchise’s co-highest paid player.

GM RAY SHERO, whose mother passed last weekend, is committed to the nucleus that has helped steer the Penguins to two Stanley Cup Final series and one Cup win in its four years together. That nucleus is Malkin, Cs SIDNEY CROSBY and JORDAN STAAL, and G MARC-ANDRE FLEURY. I’m told those players will be with the Penguins next season, and a quick reminder that their combined cap hit will be $26.4 million.

So, it looks set that Malkin is staying and the so-called Four Horsemen will ride during the first season at Consol Energy Center. Given their collective success that is probably the wise move, and it certainly fits with the patient leanings of Shero, who can count keeping his core together at a combined rate lower than perceived market value as perhaps his second greatest achievement during this tenure.

The Penguins have three years with their core at $26.4 million total. The Capitals are committed to about $27.6 million next season for LWs ALEX OVECHKIN and ALEXANDER SEMIN, C NICKLAS BACKSTROM, and D MIKE GREEN. Semin will play in the final year of his contract, and Semin has only two years remaining.

Oh, and the Capitals will eventually have to pay G SIMEON VARLAMOV, who is in the final year of his deal.

I was going to save this next nugget, but Malkin told me last Friday at getaway day that he hoped rumors of his possible departure weren’t true.

“Here is where I want to play,” he said of Pittsburgh. “Fans are good. Teammates and coaches are great. We can win again. This was just one (disappointing) year.”

— BY ROB ROSSI (5/20)

Author: Rob Rossi

Rob Rossi has covered the Penguins for parts of every season that Sidney Crosby has played in Pittsburgh. So, since 2005. He has led the Trib's NHL coverage since 2007, when he became the primary Penguins beat reporter. He joined the Tribune-Review in November 2002. Rossi, 35, is local chapter president of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association. He also dabbles in radio, as ClearChannel's "Penguins Insider," and TV, as "NHL Insider" for Root Sports Pittsburgh, and as a semi-regular contributor to The Final Word, a Sunday sports show that airs on WPXI. In 2012, Rossi was recognized nationally by Penn State's John Curley Center for Sports Journalism for his coverage of youth sports for a Trib series that investigated concussion protocol. In 2013, he teamed with Carl Prine for an investigative piece about athletes' charities what was honored regionally. A graduate of West Virginia University and Keystone Oaks High School, Rossi was raised in Crafton and Green Tree and currently resides in Brookline. He is currently working on the authorized biography of Evgeni Malkin. Follow him on Twitter: @RobRossi_Trib


  1. Dan says:

    Thank you Rob…for clearing up the rumor that you played a part in spreading. Even Madden was distancing himself from your Malkin story the next day. Lets all enjoy the excellent hockey to be played for the next 3 years and start analyzing cap numbers after that.

    Otherwise, I enjoy your coverage and have a nice weekend.

  2. espo33 says:

    Rob, might want to look at this line from above “Semin will play in the final year of his contract, and Semin has only two years remaining.” I think you mean Green has two years remaining.

    For D they should look at Volchenkov (yes he will be $3.5M, but good player), Michalek (Pho) or O’Brien (Van).

    For F they need to give the chance to the younger guys in the minors (put Johnson on the 2nd line with Maklin) and play them for 15+ games to see if they can actually be a top 6 player and if they can score. Otherwise they are wasting time. They should look into Frolov (for Malkin), Afinogenov (for Malkin), Plekanec and Torres in that order to play with Malkin and Crosby.

  3. Tim says:

    Seriously man, trading Malkin? Geno is a rock star. I love his game and I wouldn’t trade him for any one. Besides, who would they get in return? There are no wingers in the game that can hold his jock strap. Is someone going to package a group of players for him? Doubtful. Leave Geno alone and lets face it, give him SOME talent to play on his wings, because this year his wingers were invisible.

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